Now that Nikolas Cassadine is back on GENERAL HOSPITAL, some might need or want a refresher on the character’s twisted history. Nikolas was introduced in 1996 with Tyler Christopher originating the character, and in 1999, Colton Scott took over. Christopher returned to the role in 2003 and played the character up until his exit in 2016, with actor Nick Stabile taking over briefly to usher Nikolas off the canvas. There was also a handful of episodes in December of 2005 when Chris Beetem took over the role while Christopher underwent surgery on his broken arm. Although Nik was presumed dead, there was no body, and sure enough, he returned very much alive and played by Marcus Coloma!
Nikolas first arrived in Port Charles as a teenager to donate his bone marrow to save his sister, Lulu Spencer. Although he and brother Lucky Spencer started off butting heads, the siblings eventually bonded. Nikolas’ world was turned upside down when he learned that his uncle, Stefan Cassadine, was really his father. He was able to lean on his mother, Laura Spencer, especially after Lucky was presumed dead.
A DNA test later proved that Nikolas’ father was actually Stavros Cassadine after all, and he learned that not only did Helena Cassadine have a very much alive Lucky hostage, but she had resurrected Stavros as well. Stavros died in a fight with Luke, and Laura fell into a catatonic state after the murder of Rick Webber. The tragedy brought Lulu, Lucky, and Nik closer together.
Although Nikolas dated Sarah Webber and Gia Campbell, his true love was Emily Quartermaine. They grew closer as she battled breast cancer, but on her death bed, Emily chose to marry her first love, Zander Smith. But when Emily went into remission, she had an affair with Nik that ended her marriage. Suffering amnesia in a car accident, Nikolas was taken in by Mary Bishop, a war widow who told him he was her husband, Connor. (The two men looked identical!) Emily found Nikolas and he regained his memories of her. Mary flipped out and went on a murder spree, ultimately dying in a shootout with police.
Helena tried to put a stop to Nikolas’ relationship with Emily so he threw his grandmother off a cliff! While Nik was on trial for her murder, Connor showed up very much alive and sought vengeance for Mary’s death by raping Emily on the orders of Helena, who was still alive. Emily couldn’t deal with the sight of Nikolas, who looked like her rapist, and that strained their marriage and sent Nik into the arms of Courtney Matthews.
When Courtney became pregnant, her husband, Jasper Jacks, tampered with the test results so he would appear to be the father, not Nikolas. Following the baby’s birth, Courtney died before she could tell Nikolas the truth, but after Robin revealed he was the father, Nikolas took custody of the boy and named him Spencer. He reconnected with Emily, and they teamed up to rescue Spencer when his nanny, Colleen, kidnapped him for Helena.
Nikolas’ relationship with Emily came to an end when she fell victim to the Text Message Killer. He began having hallucinations of his late love, and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Though it meant giving up the visions of Emily, he ultimately went through with the surgery to save his life. Later, Nikolas was shaken by the arrival of a con woman named Rebecca, who looked just like Emily. When Lucky began dating Rebecca, Elizabeth found herself attracted to Nikolas. Although Lucky and Liz reconciled and became engaged, she had an affair with his brother. Discovering the betrayal, Lucky washed his hands of them both.
Elizabeth became pregnant, and though Lucky was the father, Helena switched the results so they named Nikolas as Aiden’s babydaddy. Although he mended his relationship with Lucky after his son, Jake, was killed in a hit-and-run, Nikolas was crushed by the revelation that he wasn’t Aiden’s father and attempted to run off with the boy. He reconsidered and returned Aiden to Liz and Lucky before leaving town in 2011.
Nikolas returned in 2013 to reveal that Stavros was alive and behind Lulu’s kidnapping. After failing to rekindle things with Liz, he struck up a relationship with Britt Westbourne. However, that came to an abrupt end when he learned that the baby she had given birth to was his nephew, since she’d stolen Lulu’s frozen embryo! When Nikolas discovered that Helena’s new henchman, Jake Doe, was really Jason Morgan, he kept the news a secret hoping to take over ELQ to rebuild Cassadine Industries. He began dating Hayden Barnes, who had been posing as Jake’s wife, but that got complicated when she threatened to reveal Jake’s true identity and Nik hired a hitman to kill her! Hayden survived and when she emerged from her coma, Nik brought her home with him to keep an eye on her.
After eloping to Vegas, Nikolas discovered Hayden was really Rachel Berlin and demanded a divorce, but she blackmailed him into staying married, revealing she knew he had her shot. Jason and Sam learned this as well, and used it to force Nikolas to give back ELQ. He then faked his own death to frame Hayden, and bumped into Ava Jerome in London. They were briefly kidnapped but escaped to Cassadine Island where they ran into Sam and Jason as well as the mysterious Theo Hart who turned out to be Nikolas’ uncle, Valentin Cassadine. He forced Nikolas to sign over the entire Cassadine estate to him and then shot him! Nikolas fell over a balcony to his death. When Ava attempted to use a psychic to contact her late daughter in 2019, she also asked about Nikolas, but the seer was unable to reach his spirit on the other side. And that was because he is very much alive — as Ava found out when her masked stalker removed his disguise to reveal he was the Cassadine prince!
It was then revealed that Nikolas was working with Jax and Hayden to find the codicil to Helena’s will that would restore the Cassadine fortune to him and Spencer, taking it away from Valentin. Unfortunately, it was hidden in a painting of the matriarch that wound up in Ava’s hands! Pretending to be a ghost, Nikolas tormented Ava to learn the whereabouts of the portrait and used Jax to get his hands on it. (Nik had already run Hayden out of town by making her think her life was in danger from Valentin!)
Stay tuned to find out how Nikolas’ story continues and for more GH news, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!
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